Free access for scientists

Chris Hopkins.
Chris Hopkins.
Listed company Scott Technology is offering New Zealand scientists and researchers free access to its latest product from its stable of high temperature superconducting magnet systems.

The systems are manufactured in Wellington.

Scott, best known for its appliance assembly lines, manufacturing and robotic meat industry equipment, is also involved in niche-market products and technology for the mining sector.

In April 2011, Scott paid $4.4 million for a controlling 51% stake in Wellington-based crown-owned HTS-110 Ltd. Industrial Research Ltd has a 35% stake and American Superconductor Corporation 14%.

Scott managing director Chris Hopkins said yesterday the ''latest generation'' HTS-110 high temperature superconducting magnet system was a version of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), a technique which provided ''highly specific chemical information'' on a variety of materials.

NMR was similar technology to the better-known magnetic resonance image (MRI); a magnetic scanner used for medical purposes, and could include using contrast agents in the body to improve the image in MRI scans.

A nuclear magnetic resonance machine developed by Scott Technology subsidiary HTS-110 Ltd. Photo supplied.
A nuclear magnetic resonance machine developed by Scott Technology subsidiary HTS-110 Ltd. Photo supplied.
Current developments of HTS-110 included NMR spectroscopy equipment for the chemical, biofuel and pharmaceutical industries,

and the MRI magnets used in industrial and medical imaging equipment.

Mr Hopkins said one of the ''key'' factors for scientists and researchers was that the new NMR was mobile, could be turned on and off with ease, its strength could be varied and it offered scientists different analysis techniques.

''Mobility is the key feature, along with new analysis which is replacing old technology,'' Mr Hopkins said.

He said NMR technology had been trialled in the pharmaceutical and medical industries in Italy and Japan and most recently an NMR was sent to the United States, The NMR technique provided highly specific chemical information from a variety of materials which increased the understanding of chemical reactions, for both industry and research purposes, he said.

''HTS wants to give Kiwi researchers the opportunity to be among the first in the world to get access to this technology and to help share and promote the advances that Kiwi researchers will make with this new magnet,'' he said.

He hoped researchers or universities would be interested in the trial to borrow an NMR, which would raise the profile of HTS-110 Ltd while they were able to access ''world-leading'' new technology.

simon.hartley@odt.co.nz

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